tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 11, 2009 7:00pm-7:50pm EST
7% se yes, 93% said no. we'll see you monday. we're back here monday night. the president guards the center. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, where's obama, left, right or center? some out-loud conservatives like president obama's support for just wars in yesterday's oslo speech. they like his escalation of the war in afghanistan. and, oh, yes, his proposed tax breaks for small businesses. a lot are strutting, bragging that they pushed the president to the center. some on the left say no big deal, he was never one of us. let's debate that tonight. who's right at the top of the show. plus, howard dean and the health care issue. is it possible that the man who was once full steam ahead on the
public option is willing to compromise and take an alternative in the health bill? howard dean, the man himself, joins us later. what about those leaked e-mails from global warming experts that the deniers are using to cast out on the science. what climate changers are up to in copenhagen. also, remember how candidate obama struggled to get the votes of white working class voters? you know, the people he lost to hillary clinton in big state democratic primaries from new york all the way to california? well, now that same blue collar crowd poses the biggest threat to democrats in next year's midterms. more on that in the "politics fix." things politics personal in this country? take a look at this scene today in the irish parliament. >> with all due respect and the most -- [ bleep ] you deputy. [ bleep ] you. i apologize now for my use of unparliamentary language. >> nothing funny about that fight. we've got the tape and the story
behind it to show in the "hardball sideshow." whether president obama was moving to the right or that's where he always was, in the center. michael feldman and john fieri. let's get to the bottom line. does the president have ideological theory? is he what he says he is? is he consistent? is he a man of the center left, or the left or center? where would you put him and it he real? >> i think he is a man philosophically on the left. i also think on some things like afghanistan he campaigned on, he's been consistent. he said he would increase the troops in afghanistan to win it, and that's what he's doing. he's been very consistent on that. i think the best thing he could do to govern as a centrist is get control -- >> i'm asking you one simple question. i'm not here to sell. is he a man of integrity? >> he's a man of the left who is trying -- who i think he's keeping consistent with his philosophy. >> he's a man of integrity? >> i think he's a man of
integrity, absolutely. >> your thoughts? >> i'm not going to disagree with that, chris. >> that's easy. what is he? >> i think as much as some people in john's party, but not john, but some would like to call him a socialist or communist or whatever the term of art is and try to paint him into a -- >> what do you call him? >> the guy ran from the center, he governs from the center, he remains in the center. that's where he was elected. >> how do you explain the fact that he had a 100% ada rating in the center? >> that's his voting record. but the fact of the matter is, he was elected in states like indiana, not because he had a 100% ada record. but because they liked what he had to say. >> you're changing the subject again. is he a man of the left or the center left or the center? >> i think he's a moderate democrat, moderate progressive, centrist left. >> centrist left? >> there's no evidence he's actually in his own beliefs a moderate. he's almost consistently he's a left wing of the party. he campaigned on that, especially when it came to iraq. >> is he a big government lib r liberal at home?
>> he's a big-time government liberal at home. >> does he have foreign policy? >> with afghanistan, he had no choice. he campaigned that he was going to win -- >> let's look at the president here. i think this is going to be part of the argument for the next couple of years. i think he sounded the other day in oslo like jack kennedy. not teddy kennedy or bobby kennedy, he was very hard to read, but jack kennedy. someone who will forever try to figure out was he a classic cold warrior or was he a revisionist of some kind really pushing for peace like a nixon was. let's take a look at him speaking yesterday in oslo and receiving the nobel peace prize. the president. >> whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this, the united states of america has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from germany to korea. and enabled democracy to take
hold in places like the balkans. we have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. we have done so out of enlightened self-interest. >> newt gingrich liked that. sarah palin apparently liked that. peggy noonan liked that. is that real? john, again, a man speaking in defense, full-throated defense of america's defense of the west, basically, for all these years since world war ii. >> good for him. myself, i think he's been mugged by reality with the power of the presidency. he sees the threats he's encountering, but good for him. i think that american power is an essential part to worldwide peace. i think he's starting to project that. that's good. i think that's important. >> there was nothing terribly new substantively in that speech. it was beautifully given. i think it was hard to imagine a wartime president going to -- >> let me ask you a question. if he had given that speech in the iowa caucuses last year, would he have given that speech when he was contending among those populist, somewhat, well, largely anti-war democrats in
the democratic caucuses? >> i think it would have been an odd venue to give that speech. >> yeah, i think so. so in other words, he's changing his emphasis from what he was as a candidate? >> no, no, i think it was brilliantly executed in oslo. receiving the nobel peace prize as a wartime president talking about foreign policy. i think that was very well done. the fact of the matter is, he talked about afghanistan as a war of necessity a year ago. he talked about it in the campaign. he has governed that way. the fact is, that the timing of this speech obviously wasn't perfect politically for him, but he handled it very well. >> let's get back to facts here. there's a big difference between this president, barack obama, and a hawk. or a neocon, a group of people i don't agree with, because i think they are too hawkish. iran, we haven't gotten there yet, but everybody figures we're going to get there. when the time comes, would he ever pull the trigger and support a military campaign to blow out those bases or those missile sites over in iran? would he ever do that, ever? >> i think the only way he would do something like that is to
make certain that the israelis wouldn't do it. i don't think he would do it willingly. i don't think he's someone like a dick cheney that says we've got to go in there. >> well, cheney has a hair trigger. cheney's dr. strangelove. you made my point. he's not cheney. he's not one of those guys. >> the only way he would get into iran is if he was forced into it. >> do you think he would ever attack iran? i think he would. i think nixon would have behaved totally different than kennedy in the missile crisis. >> i don't think a president ever takes a military option off the table. >> would he do it? would he ever attack iran? why are you being so careful? would he ever attack iran? >> go back to what the president said. >> i don't think he would. >> i don't even understand why he would do it, because if israel wants to do it, you can't stop them. if they want to do it. >> i think if there's a situation there that -- the wags is so desire, so desire -- >> then they have to do it.
we don't tell them what to do. >> he's not likely to shoot first and build a coalition behind it afterwards. he's going to use all the tools. >> you're so technical. i want a philosophical answer. is he a hawk? >> i think he's pragmatic in his foreign policy as well as his domestic policy. let's take a look. i'm not getting an answer. you're saying he would only do it if he was forced to do it? i think he's very different than cheney. do you agree these different than chain sne >> i think he's a lot different than cheney. >> how so? in effect. in reality, where would there be a difference in how they would act? would he have gone into iraq? >> no. and he wouldn't have taken -- >> would he have gone into iraq? >> maybe, depending -- >> i don't think so. i disagree with that. i think only cheney would have gone into iraq. let's go to domestic policy where we might find clarity here. let's listen to the president where he's speaking on the economy this week. another example people think he's moving to the center or to the right. >> that's why it's so important that we help small businesses struggling to stay open.
or struggling to open in the first place during these difficult times. building on the tax cuts in the recovery act, we're proposing a complete elimination of capital gains taxes on small business investment, along with an extension of write-offs to encourage small businesses to expand in the coming year. and i believe it's worthwhile to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to add and keep employees, and i'm going to work with congress to pass one. >> i think he would have gone a lot further successfully. but he's starting to move toward tax cuts for businesses, write-offs, capital gains cuts. >> i would support that. and a lot of other tax cuts. >> that sounds very republican. >> it does, but it's not going to go anywhere in the congress. if he wants to be like a bill clinton and actually be in the center, he's got to triangulate against the democratic congress. right now he doesn't want to do that. >> i don't think he's doing this politically. he's doing this because there's 10% unemployment in this country. that's not a shift to the middle. that's a shift from wall street
to main street. >> i think you're right in the sense he wants to do something worse, which would be republican ideas. >> there are a lot of republican ideas in his proposal. i give john credit for saying he agrees with him. a lot of people are looking for a reason to carp on him for -- >> if you want to keep a balanced presidency, to go from center left on health care and now going a bit center right on tax cuts for small businesses. it's a natural way to keep things balanced, right? isn't it just good politics? >> he's proposing a lot of things and letting the congress work out all the details. nancy pelosi and harry reid are pushing it far to the left. >> we talked about that. i think he is moving a bit to the right on tax cuts for small business. the minute you start going to capital gains cuts, you're driving the left crazy. kucinich isn't going to like this approach. >> he won't like anything. >> let's take a look. the president on wednesday talking about health care and the compromise that looks to be looming right now. let's listen. >> the senate made critical progress last night with the creative new framework that i believe will help pave the way
for final passage and an historic achievement on behalf of the american people. i support this effort, especially since it's aimed at increasing choice and competition and lowering costs. >> this isn't the ed schultz health care bill they're talking about, my colleague, who really wants the public health care, the public option. this is not the jay rockefeller, this is not the sherrod brown. there's a big slew of liberal democratic senators who won't be thrilled by this which is reduce medicare eligibility down to 55 and help people pay for it. >> this is not a shift on his part. he's been saying from the very beginning, how do we get health care done. he's never said -- >> you're not flacking here tonight. i'm going to give you a -- >> let me agree with michael on this. >> who was the ron guy we had on yesterday for cheney? ron christie? we're going to give you the ron christie award here. >> he'll sign anything that the congress comes up with on health care. anything. he's never used a -- >> anything? >> anything. >> why would he do that? >> because he wants something
accomplished on health care. other than that, he has no ideological barrier. he'll sign anything. the problem is the democratic congress can't get anything done because they're incompetent. >> the democratic congress can't get anything done because there's a committed minority in the congress that will oppose anything. >> isn't it true that the republicans -- isn't it true that the republican party would be thrilled if health care died? >> well, this health care plan, yes. we would like to get a health care plan to fix the problem. >> they've offered amendments. >> they have offered amendments. >> we haven't heard about them. >> of course you don't. >> when you guys are in power, you never do health care. >> we did health care. we did prescription drug -- >> that's not health care. >> that is health care. tell the senior citizens that didn't have prescription drugs -- >> tell the people sitting in the emergency rooms right now for basic health care that the republicans are their best friends on health care. tell them that. >> i will tell them that. we did a lot on health care. we had portability. when i was in congress -- >> you're doing a great job here. >> anytime the democrats have health care bills, the republicans have an alternative.
every time the democrats don't do something or are in power, the republicans go silent. >> we are not for government-run socialist health care. >> socialist health care? >> we're not for that. >> is medicare socialists? >> it has some tendencies to socialist. >> is social security socialist? >> it's going to drive us broke if we don't do something about it. >> what was your alternative on social security back in the '30s? >> that's a question. >> hoover bells. those little shacks people lived in. that was your plan, by the way. that was hoover's plan. >> social security? >> wait for the market. >> well, it wasn't his only plan. >> let's agree on one thing. if it were political expediency that mattered if it were just making sure you locked down votes on health care, health care would not have been the priority. health care would not have been the priority. he made it priority. give him credit for doing it. >> i think he's following reagan's advice. get a big win the first year. thank you feldman for flackery and for a while there you were pretty reasonable. the senate's compromise on health care reform. the great howard dean himself.
the man who is health care reform is showing up in a minute to tell us what's good, what's bad. and i think he might surprise us by being mr. pragmatic. he's coming here, howard dean, the governor, the doctor, he's everything. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. knock heartburn... into a whole new zip code. 24/7. satisfaction guaranteed. thataboy. [ male announcer ] prilosec otc. heartburn gone. power on.
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welcome back to "hardball." democrats are closer than ever some think to getting a health care plan signed by the president. will expanding medicare and opening up access to the same health care plans as federal employees have be a way for harry reid and nancy pelosi to get the votes they need? i'm going to the reality check now with dr. howard dean, former governor
of vermont and former chairman of the democratic national committee. i mean this, governor, i really respect what you've been doing all this all these months. if it gets through, it's because people like you have cared a lot and thought a lot about it. i want to give you a couple minutes because people who watch this show do want to know how it looks from here. so give us the color of the game, if you will. how does it look now on december 11th, 2009? >> well, mostly that depends on whether the democrats who had been opposing the public option are willing now to try to do something to get health care through. i think the senate democrats, the majority of the democrats have given a lot to get these four folks onboard. and what they have given is actually very good. medicare is a much better way to have a public option or have people sign up than creating a new bureaucracy. so although the house bill is much more comprehensive, using medicare is the right thing to do. and it's going to have a couple of benefits. one, is that you can sign up as
soon as the president signs the bill, or within a few months afterwards. because it's an existing bureaucracy. that's going to make a big, big difference. two senator jay rockefeller has a piece in this bill that requires health insurance to pay out 90%. now, medicare itself pays out 96% of the premium dollars to pay for health care. the private insurance industry today pays out 83%. there's a lot of waste there. that would be fixed with senator rockefeller's amendment. so i think the senate bill, while not as comprehensive as the house, it's a big step forward towards real reform. >> what will it cost a person age 55 to 64 to buy into medicare? senator mccaskill from missouri last night was optimistic saying it would be about $400 a month. "the new york times" today said anyone who wants to buy the same health care benefits as members of congress or buy coverage through medicare should be prepared to fork over a large chunk of cash. seeming to indicate it would be more expensive than, say, $400 a month.
>> it won't be as cheap as $400 a month unless there's a subsidy. we need a subsidy. we need to get the 55-year-olds signed up. that's the most vulnerable action of americans that don't have it. it's going to be expensive. it will be between $400 and $600 a month. i don't think you can get down to $400 without some kind of subsidy. i think there needs to be a subsidy. remember, this bill, once it gets past the senate, god willing, will be going to conference committee. there will be plenty of room for compromises and improving the bill. i think the insurance regulation is a major step forward. if you don't think it is, the insurance companies are squealing like stuck pigs, which means it's got to be a good bill someplace. >> i'm thinking about the social cost, the social benefits. if you just look at this as a budget issue, you may not get the right answer. your cost benefit on 55 to 64. if people between 55 and 64, when you're in bad health and life starts to set in, diseases
start o catch up with you, if those people don't do anything on health care, it seems to me they arrive at 65 in really bad shape. and they're going to be very expensive. isn't that true, you're better off treating people earlier? >> yes, you are. people who are insured do better under medicare than people who are not issued and getting under medicare. 55 to 65-year-olds who have been laid off find it really tough to get a job because people don't want to pay their insurance. >> exactly. >> this is going to be a get back to work program for people who are 55 to 65 and can't get insurance. it is a big deal. this is going to reduce the jobless rate among people who have got teenage kids. and that really is going to make a big difference. >> well said. let's go to joe lieberman, who's been problematic on a lot of front, not just war. joe lieberman, who organized with the democrats said basically if there's any chance of there being a public option because there's a trigger pit in this bill, because if certain things don't happen in the health industry, we're going to get a public option, he doesn't even want to chance it. he is bargaining so tough right
now. do you think he's going to become irrelevant and they're going to go after olympia snowe. >> it's one of the thins i agree with senator lieberman on. i don't think there should be a trigger. that's an insurance company gimmick to avoid real reform. look, i think harry reid has a good relationship with joe lieberman. i think they can work this out using the medicare. it was originally proposed as a compromise. i think that we're going to get this thing done. it's hard. harry reid's got the worst job in washington. he's got all the responsibility and none of the powers of the speaker, for example. i was very pleased to see the speaker move towards the senate plan. the senate plan is not perfect. it's far from perfect. with the speaker's insistence on affordability, marrying that to the senate plan using medicare as a base is a good step forward. >> what do you think now looking at this? we've been debating and watching this, i've been sitting in the court watching this fight for months now. ed schultz does it, everyone else on this network watches it. with a very positive attitude. we all want something done, because all of us know about the
tens and tens of millions of people, 30 to 40 million people who don't have health insurance. i think speaking for everybody in this country, we're better off with an insured public than people waiting in the emergency rooms. >> i join an awful lot of americans saying, any old bill is not good enough bill. if all we do is give tons of money to the insurance companies, this is a waste of money. >> where is the cost control going to be in it, as you see it as a necessary piece? what is your holdout issue on cost control? >> there's two pieces that are really important. one is using medicare as a substrate, because they do a much better job on cost controls than the private sector. they're not perfect, but they do a much better job. two is senator rockefeller's proposal that really does use the private insurance to insure other people. look, from are two counties in western europe who have public health care without having any kind of money in it. switzerland and netherlands. they treat the insurance industry as a regulated utility. put that in the bill, the insurance companies scream and yell and shout. if they want to be responsible
and they've been grossly, disgracefully irresponsible for the last 15 years, look attate na. >> you think joe lieberman would go for that? up in connecticut? not in a billion years. >> 600,000 people are going to get kicked off the aetna roles next year so they can make more money. this is not a responsible industry or an industry that cares about their clients. we need to do something about that. if our system's going to work and remain in the private sector, otherwise we should have a single payer and be done with it like everyone over 65 has. >> how is the president doing in terms of leading this? it seems like he's waiting for congress. is he leading congress? >> we would all like the president to be as forceful as he could, as we could. but the president, when he was campaigning, people would yell and carry on about how he ought to do this and ought to do that. at the end of the day he came in and did what had to be done. we're going to have to wait and see. i have a feeling behind the scenes he's being pretty forceful. but, you know, this is tough. it's been a long, hard fight. the american people are tired of it.
they want this fight to be over. they want a decent bill and move on to jobs and taxes. i see the president is moving on to jobs and taxes, but we can't leave this behind. or there will be an awful lot of democrats that lose their seats in 2010 because they won't show up without brk become on the ballot. >> happy holidays. >> same to you. >> congratulations if it works. if you think washington has become less than civil these days, wait until you see what's happening in the irish parliament, known as the irish doyle. wait till you catch this guy. i like him already, by the way. he's taking on the guy giving him a hard time in the corner there. there he goes. i think you can read this guy's lips. (announcer) n winter damage be restored- from icy wind and drying heat? get pantene restoratives these adnced pro-vitamin formulas... start at the core and helpeplenish moisture. no winter static cover-up here! plus, the "total hair satisfaction guarantee" means love pantene... or we'll switch y back to your old shampoo or conditioner. so fight winter!!! and know, even leading salon brands
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here's paul gagerty, a member of the parliament who doesn't like his integrity challenged. we have to cut out a bit of the sound, but you have no problem reading his lips. >> i respect your sincerity and ask that you respect mine. with all due respect, and the most unparliamentary language. [ bleep ] you, deputy. i apologize now for the use of my unparliamentary language. >> that is most unparliamentary language. >> i will now withdraw and apologize for i. but i'm outraged someone there is questioning my sincerity on this issue. i don't like what has to be done, but i'm going to take the responsibility and get it on the chin and get the unpop lair and use my seat because it's the only thing we can do to get this country out of the state we're in. i firmly believe that. and you respect my view. i didn't cause the economic mess. i didn't take money from developers. >> deputy, deputy -- >> the point is --
>> deputy, shut up. deputy shut up. >> the point is, we're screwed as a country because of the wrongdoing of others. >> that's paul gagerty of the green party. send your campaign checks directly. did you notice the other deputy didn't complain about what he was saying, even his language until he blamed him, the other guy, for taking money from developers. sound familiar? she's just not into you. jenny sanford filed for divorce from marc sanford. but not before she got in an appearance with barbara walters. de rigueur there, and got a book deal altogether. i suppose she's right in all this and he's wrong. i'm not making any judgments. as i said before, i kind of like that governor. last week we learned democratic senator max baucus nominated his girlfriend for a top job at the u.s. attorney's office. this minor tale of hanky-panky took another turn. the politico reported today that
baucus in the summer of 2008, the summer before this, gave the same girlfriend who was working for him in the senate office at the time a big raise. how big? $13,687. that's not a bad raise. baucus' defense for giving the raise? he gave the entire office raises that year. anyway, senator baucus gave a $13,687 raise to his girlfriend last year. oh, well. tonight's big number. up next, the truth about climate change. conservatives are trying to throw cold water on global warming after e-mails showed scientists massaging the numbers to make their case. we're get a reality check tonight about why climate change is real, and it's serious. (man) you'll never guess what it is. not in a million years. guess. (announcer) football: $25 you won't guess. shampoo gift basket: $89 it's made with organic berries. oh. (announcer) mouth guard: $10 put it in. try it. see how it fits. it's taffy. nnouncer) getting them something they'll actually enjoy: let meet my teeth.
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tiger woods says he is taking an indefinite break from professional golf. in a letter on his website, he asked for forgiveness for the damage he's done, but he also says he needs to focus his attention on repairing his relationships. fbi agents have questioned some of the five young americans arrested in pakistan. agents are gathering evidence to see if the students could be charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization. an american missile has killed a high ranking al qaeda officer in western pakistan. officials say saleh al somali was responsible for terror operations outside the middle east. on capitol hill today, the house approved a major overhaul of banking regulations. the measure puts new restrictions on every financial institution from neighborhood banks to huge investment houses. meanwhile, the treasury department is limiting executive compensation at bailed-out banks and automakers. top earners will have their come compensation capped.
now back to "hardball." this is going to stir the blood. welcome back to "hardball." evidence of global warming includes that this has been the hottest decade on record. that ocean temperatures are the highest on record and the arctic sea ice is shrinking. on the eve of the united nations climate change conference in keepen hagen some leaked e-mails have given deniers confirmation to claim that global warming is a hoax. dr. brenda ekwurzel is with an organization that employs registered lobbyists although dr. ek wurwurzel is not one of . doctor, i just want you to help viewers out who have common sense. we're not going to appeal to the far right. we're not going to appeal to the deniers, because they do not want to hear anything that gets in the way of their piggish attitudes. but let's talk to those who would like to save their planet for future generations.
and don't want to eat it up between now and their own personal retirements. i'm serious about that, there seems to be a real problem out there with thinking. so let's go with this now. what is the significance of these e-mails and what looks to be people playing games with facts and the real facts and the important facts about climate change? >> that's right. let's keep in mind that people stole e-mails that were private communications over a decade between scientists, and they released them on the eve of the united nations meeting to address climate change. and what this is is a distraction from the real facts on the ground. as you said, this is the hottest decade on record. and sea level is rising. faster than previously expected. >> let's take a look at the e-mail from this one from november of 1999. experts talking about it. i've just completed mike's nature trick -- nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years from 1981 onwards and from
1961 for keith's to hide the decline. so what's that mean? explain what that says. >> yes. trick is a trick of the trade that was published in the open literature. and that was used as a technique to understand better using weather stations to make sense of past climate. and hide the decline was, to be honest, they were talking about a few trees in siberia, which really wouldn't make the national news. but that's what they were talking about. and there was nothing hidden, no one hid anything, because these discussions were published in the peer review literature. >> so why are they important to the debate? why are people on the deniers' side of the climate change saying you guys are all playing games? >> i would have to say, people who are opposed to action on climate change have been for years trying to misrepresent the science. but the mountain of evidence is clear. thousands of researchers around the world have been researching climate change for decades from the bottom of the ocean up to
the top of the atmosphere. and it's overwhelming that burning cars, fuel, gasoline, oil, burning our forests is overloading carbon in the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing sea level to rise, and this is what people are negotiating in copenhagen right now is how to solve the problem. and that is where people should be focused and not be distracted by this little e-mail story. >> what do you think when you read these miserable people in the "wall street journal" op-ed pages? i don't get it. there's some kind of culture out there that sits around and talks to itself and pleases itself -- pleasures itself, i should say, over the argument that there isn't any climate change. what is in their breakfast that makes them do this? why do they ignore science? maybe the same people that ignore the evidence of evolution and millions of years of bones. what is it about them that just -- and they're pandered to by the editors of the "wall street journal" and other organs like fox news.
>> well, what we have is really a coalition of allies that aren't ignoring the science. general electric is a company that wants to stick around for the next thousand years and they want to reduce emissions. generals are advising the u.s. government to protect itself from some of the ravages of climate change impacts, which can be severe and affect global security. these are folks that are looking forward thinking and want to invest in 21st century technology and not be harnessed by old-fashioned technology of the 20th century. >> okay. let's get away from style and aesthetics to the simple question. if nothing is done, significantly, over the next 20 years or so about climate change, what's going to happen to this planet on which all our children live and some of us will still be here? what will happen if we don't do anything? seriously, draw me the picture now for those watching this friday night. >> what's very important to remember is that the carbon dioxide we've emitted to the
atmosphere, scientists have shown that it will take about 1,000 years for the earth to absorb this excess carbon. that means that we will be trapping heat for our children, ourselves, our grandkids, and this is something that has long-term consequences. sea level rise can be profound for some small island nations. the gulf coast of new orleans, florida, parts of the bay area of san francisco, and we also see that heat waves and human health is at risk because we will have longer droughts. our crops are going to be grown in different ways, as we have to adapt to climate change. and also, these are costs that are going to be borne. in fact, some economists talk about the costs of inaction are much higher than doing something to solve global warming. some people are making money in some of these green solutions. >> let's assume for the next ten years you don't win the argument. i don't think you're going to win it in the senate. i hope you do. but it may not happen, like it did in the house.
if nothing gets done, when will it be evident to even "the wall street journal" types and the fox news types where they can't lie anymore -- i'm sorry, you never know about motives, they can't deny anymore. at what point will that happen? >> people are already ignoring the fact we've had immense change up in the arctic ocean, up in alaska. >> they're still denying it. they can still deny it. how can they get away with denying it then? >> to be honest, it must be not looking at the data with an open mind. because if you look at the mountain of data that's out there from the bottom of the oceans all the way to the tops of mountain glaciers that are melting rapidly, the city of la paz is losing its water supply, its glacier is disappearing. we're seeing profound change in the fisheries that we depend, it's the base of the food chain. these are things that really matter to all of us, in our world, and what we eat, how we live, how we move around and what we enjoy.
and really, we would be bequeathing a world that is very different to our children if we do not do something now to stop climate change. >> maybe the kids will start talking to their parents when they sit around at the men's grill at the golf course and sit in the commuter train and agree with each other, they ought to check in with the reality of the world. so far they've not. i look at people in such powerful denial, they are beating you, brenda, doctor, in this fight. they are beating you, the voices of inaction are beating the voices of action. i just wait to hear when the evidence is going to be so profound they can't deny it anymore. thank you. it's going to be an unpleasant world we live in by the time they admit it. anyway, thank you, brenda ekwurzel. up next, it could be president obama and the democrat's biggest problem. they're losing support among working people. white working class people who didn't go to college, that is their biggest problem. and the numbers. and talk about the data, that's a problem. he had a problem carrying those people in the election. he had 40% of them in the election. he's got less now. what can he do about it?
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and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. we're back with the "politics fix" with ron brownstein of the national review. and charles blow, visual op-ed columnist. the national review is the magazine. national journalist. down the middle.
charles blow joins us, the visual op-ed for "the new york times." i'm impressed by your analysis. it's been pretty consistent through the campaign. if you wanted to predict who was going to win a caucus state or democratic side, all you do is listen to you. basically what percentage of the voters went to college for four years. if a high percentage went, like around 50% or 60% slam dunk. if it was down around 20% or 30%, slam dunk for senator clinton. here it is in 2008. 40% of non-college whites, i love the way we talk in this country, so tribal. whites and 40% of college educated whites voted for obama. there was a real advantage of the four-year college people. i see your numbers show that only 38% of the non-college people are with him. 40% are with him in the campaign. i would have thought the falloff would be a lot more dramatic. >> when you're at 40, there's not much far to go. you do have union members in that an the non-college. >> you also have a clinton, bill and hillary clinton coalition with this president. >> yeah. >> a team of rivals. >> there are a lot of different
ways to look a the electorate. one way i have found useful to look at it is three big clumps. especially in the age of obama. one is nonwhite voters. they're about a quarter of the electorate. about double the share they were when president clinton was elected. he's very strong with them now. his approval rating is almost at 75% in gallup. next clump, the non-college white voters, blue collar whites, people that work with their hands. used to be the backbone of the democratic party. they have been trending republicans since the 1960s. obama only won 40% of them. as you say, he's down to 38% now. that is trouble for those democrats who are in districts that are predominantly white and predominantly downscale. the last piece are the college educate whites. or about a third of the electorate. barack obama won 47% of them. his approval is dipping. that is important, chris, because right now, democrats have about a 2-1 advantage over republicans in the districts where the percentage of whites with a college education exceeds the national average, they're going to lose a lot of those